Pedro Bernardinelli is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania. He works on solar system science inside DES including developing methods for identifying and tracking down distant solar system objects. In addition to that, he also works on improving the astrometry of DECam images.
We asked Pedro a few questions, here’s what he had to say:
What is your favorite part about being a scientist?
I enjoy the fact that I’m working with deep questions related to the history of the solar system. I also enjoy the technical aspect of it, solving challenging “puzzles” every day.
Do you have any hobbies or take part in sports?
I am an avid reader of fantasy literature, and have been since I was really young. I also am a fan of games of all types (video games, card games, board games, etc). Finally, I recently got into photography, inspired by my wife and by the similarities with astronomy.
What is your favorite space-related image, and why?
I really like this set of images (http://www2.ess.ucla.edu/~jewitt/kb/qb1.html ) of the discovery of 1992 QB1, the first trans-Neptunian object after Pluto and Charon. For once, you can see something very faint moving on the sky, which is by itself amazing. And also, because it’s incredible that I’m working in a scientific field that is relatively young: it was born just a year before I was born!
What is your secret talent?
My wife says that my secret talent is being good with children. Every time I see a child staring at me, I start making goofy faces and finding ways of hiding myself to make them laugh!
Any advice for aspiring scientists?
I guess the most important advice is to go ahead and chase your dreams. It’ll be challenging, there are moments where you’ll want to quit, but also, you’ll have a lot of fun in the process, which will make everything worth it!